Kathakali performance attempts to enter record books

February 12th, 2011 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 12 (IANS) In a first of its kind attempt, a total of 150 Kathakali artistes came together for a performance lasting 45 minutes here Saturday.The entire performance was videographed by representatives from the Guinness World Records.

Eminent Kathakali artiste Ettumanur Kannan and his team of dancers gave life to the subtle ‘asanas’ of the Art of Living (AOL) meditation through well-defined classic ‘mudras’ (gestures) in the presence of AOL founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The objective of this performance was to invoke the classical dance-drama to interpret the powers of meditation to heal the mind.

Titled Natyavismayam, the artistes were in the costumes of all the five ‘veshas’ (make-up) of Kathakali — pachcha, kaththi, thaadi, kari and minukku.

“We are trying to express the subtle nuances of dhyana (meditation) through existing mudras of Kathakali. It is an attempt to interpret dhyana as AOL is also basically a form of dhyana,” team leader Kannan said.

After the programme, the spiritual leader honoured eminent Kathakali artistes Padmashri Madavoor Vasudevan Nair, Kalamandalam Gangadharan, Kalamandalam Raman Nampoothiri and Kalamandalam Narayanan Nair.

“This performance is part of the efforts of the Art of Living Foundation, which has soothed the minds of millions of people across the globe through meditation, to popularize various classical art forms in Indian and abroad,” said Swamy Sadyojatha, the chief coordinator of the spiritual leader’s visit to Kerala.

“Through dhyana, the mind can be purified and gets peace. A mind with evil quality can be ultimately transformed into one with virtue with the help of dhyana. That is the message of Natyavismayam,” added Kannan.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is in the state for the next five days as part of the Art of Living Foundation’s 30th year celebrations, which will culminate in a grand ceremony in Berlin, Germany in July.

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